Anna Kendrick: If you grow up middle class, you feel you always have to work


I’m saying this with zero shade-attempt, but I’ve been looking at the December magazine covers, and I’m sort of surprised by how bland they are and how really weird cover subjects were chosen for what should be one of the bigger issues of the year. Like, Allison Williams is on the cover of Allure, and it’s utterly boring. And now Anna Kendrick covers the December issue of Marie Claire and I’m just not feeling it. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like Anna. A lot. She’s super-talented and she’s got a big part in the anticipated musical Into the Woods. But there were ways to make a December cover with Anna Kendrick more appealing, and I’m not sure if Marie Claire followed through. This cover is extraordinarily underwhelming. Here are some highlights from her cover story:

On her role as Cinderella in Into the Woods: “The character is thoughtful and complicated. You see what happens after she marries the prince, when you start to face problems in seemingly perfect situations. The interesting thing about her is she overthinks things, she’s uncertain – we don’t see that in most versions. In a lot of ways, I think it’s this incredibly brave story. She’s neglected and abused her entire life she finally gets love and it’s not the kind of love she was looking for, and she stands up for herself.”

On taking a short break: “The whole going-movie-to-movie-to-movie thing, I’ve been living that way for three years. Like I need to be a person and, you know, maintain relationships.”

On insta-fame following her 2010 Oscar nomination: “It was insane. Like really groovy and exciting. [But] there was a lot of ‘Why me?’—that sort of thing.”

On the celebrity hacking scandal this fall: “I’m so infuriated on behalf of those girls. And bummed out that people feel like that’s something they can do.”

On having her looks scrutinized: “The most common thing that I get is, ‘Am I the only one who doesn’t think that Anna Kendrick is pretty?’ And you’re like, ‘No, you’re not the only one. Arguably, all of the boys in my high school agree with you.’”

On ambition: “Mostly it’s the fear that the wolves are always at your heels and you’re going to be tossed out into the street. If you grow up middle class, you just always feel like you’ve got to be working, because otherwise you won’t be able to pay the rent.”

[From Marie Claire]

Did anyone else chuckle a little bit when she said “If you grow up middle class, you just always feel like you’ve got to be working…” I guarantee that working class and working poor people feel the same way, it’s not just a middle class thing, Anna! But she wasn’t throwing shade, she was just talking about her work ethic, which in my opinion is different than talking about ambition. Or is it? Is her ambition simply to work, to work in diverse and challenging projects? I think it probably is – she doesn’t want to be a Movie Star, she wants to do interesting stuff and be a hirable actress. Not the worst play.

Oh, and here’s the trailer for Into the Woods. I don’t know, you guys. This looks like a hot mess.


Photos courtesy of Tesh/Marie Claire.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

58 Responses to “Anna Kendrick: If you grow up middle class, you feel you always have to work”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. What? says:

    In her defense: I think the assumption is working class HAVE to work, by definition.

    • Jules says:

      What? She wasn’t asked to define feminist? Thank goodness. Since she’s a budding economist.

    • Lulu says:

      I think you are right, @What? And it’s not throwing shade at the working class, but it is critiquing the middle class work-first – pleasure-second ideology. I think she is definitely not stupid this girl

    • OriginalTessa says:

      She was talking about how she grew up. She was obviously middle class. She’d be in more trouble if she called herself working class when she wasn’t. That would have been a bigger controversy.

    • Hope says:

      Yes, and there’s not much difference between middle class and working class these days. If you’re laid off for six months or have a major health issue the lines blur significantly. I grew up bouncing between the two, though usually technically middle class. Our financial situation never felt very secure, like all it would take is a strong wind to blow us from our safe, decent neighborhood to the tiny, paint-peeled places downtown. So I can identify with that hunger. I really don’t think she’s slamming working class, rather differentiating herself from the upper class. There is ambition to be found there, too. But the motives are different.

      • outstandingworldcitizen says:

        I think I will give her a pass. It was an inelegant comment. Also here in the States so many people who are not middle class think they are. No joke. It is relative. People making a combined 250k here in NY are not considered wealthy. That is solidly middle class. In Atl 85k is considered middle. Hell even people who make 30k say they are middle class. There is no single formal definition of class status here. It is part delusion at times, low information and politics.

      • Sara says:

        Hope: or to put “there’s not much difference between middle class and working class these days” bluntly: there isnt much middle class these days.

        i give her a pass too. middle class is harder to “feel”. when you are upper class or working class you’ll know it from day one. middle class really is this thing where you are not poor but also cant go around shopping everywhere or take a vacation every year. then there are even more specifics like under or upper middle class etc.

      • OriginalTessa says:

        I make working class money, but grew up upper middle class to upper class, and I consider myself middle class, even though I’m not. If I lost my job, I’d be completely broke. I think there’s a lot of that going on in this country right now. Kids that grew up with some money not able to have the same kind of success their parent’s did and not knowing how to classify themselves. The jobs available to me with my college degree are nonexistent. They don’t exist.

      • Mel M says:

        @sara, I totally agree. I grew up in it and now my husband and our family are in the middle class where we aren’t living paycheck to paycheck (for the most part) but we also don’t have the luxury to take a vacation every year or go shopping for clothes every season, or even to go out to eat very often. We have had to make some good cutbacks as well in order to keep up with our constantly increasing health insurance premiums, and just inflation in general.

      • Kitten says:

        I’m with you guys. I grew up middle class and I’m still middle class and the truth is that you never feel secure and you’re always playing a game of “catch-up” just to eek out a living.

        You never make enough money to feel comfortable and usually live paycheck-to-paycheck, yet you’re not destitute enough to take advantage of the services that are offered to those that are financially disadvantaged.

      • bettyrose says:

        Outstandingworldcitizen .. Yep. Middle class is a catchall phrase in the U.S. Politcians always voice their “concern” for the middle class because the vast majority of Americans identity as such.

    • Elle says:

      I said this down thread, but I’m thinking she was comparing her life to the number of kids in Hollywood with trust funds and/or well-connected parents who approach Hollywood as more of a career / hobby than an actual career.

  2. Anastasia says:

    The Into the Woods trailer: I normally like that genre, but I feel no desire to see this one, even after watching the trailer. It left me cold.

  3. Josefa says:

    The movie does look messy, but I hope it does well for the sake of Emily’s and Anna’s careers.

  4. We Are All Made of Stars says:

    It looks cute! It’s a PG movie for chrissakes. As for her comment, what is she wrong? If you don’t come from money, you’ve gotta get up and work for a living. I find it refreshing to hear a statement about reality from somebody who’s lived in it rather than one from all the Taylors, Arianas, Vinces, Reeses, Adams, Eds, and Robins who just don’t have a clue. Seriously, does anyone else realize how overrepresented people who come from money are in entertainment? It’s insane!

  5. Lb says:

    I really like her. I remember watching her in Camp more than a decade ago and thinking she would go on to have a great career.

    I respect her work attitude. I wish I had that attitude too but despite being raised in a working class family, I’m so often lazy. Sigh. Anyway, the article is nice but the pictures are not so great. Her makeup is all off.

  6. Kara says:

    I don’t think she knows what “middle class” means.

  7. savu says:

    That makeup combined with the angle of the photo is SO unflattering on her.

  8. Jess says:

    I feel kind of bad for her, this isn’t the first time she said something like that about her looks or being unattractive, think she reads too many comments about herself. She’s perfectly fine and a pretty girl! I don’t understand why people think otherwise.

  9. Sara says:

    what i like is that she admits that her lifestyle isnt good for maintaining relationships, be it romantic or friendships. so many actors and actresses moan that they dont have any personal life but work 12 months of the year. work and relationships both need time. but focusing on one thing will let the other die. same goes if you spent your whole time dedicated to relationships, you wont achieve anything professionally.
    but actors are rarely people who know how to balance things and not take it to extremes.

    whatever its a lot better than “woe is me, i have such bad luck in love, only because i value money and fame more than people”

    • Elle says:

      Amen. I adore Anna – she and Keira strike me as two of the more talented and grounded young actresses working today. They seem much more self aware than some of their counterparts. They play the game but are able to disengage as well.

      Frankly, I would love to see a movie with the two of them.

  10. sigh((s)) says:

    All she’s saying is she didn’t grow up rich so she’s always had to work. And now she doesn’t HAVE to work all the time, but it’s ingrained at this point.

    • ncboudicca says:

      Exactly – and so many of us confuse our sense of self-worth or define ourselves by our jobs. That’s why “…What do you do?” is such a common first question when you meet a new person. Well, except in the South, where sometimes people will ask “What church do you attend?” as the first question. :-)

      • sigh((s)) says:

        Ha. Gotta determine what kind of Christian you are. And if you aren’t, watch out! Lol

      • Jess says:

        Ncboudicca, I just had this conversation with my sister about why people ask “what do you do” so much in the south, she lived in California for years and said it’s not a common question for people to ask there. She thinks it’s rude, guess I never thought about it, just a conversation starter in my opinion! Also, I’ve lived in Alabama my entire life and I’ve never been asked what church I go to, lol, but a lot of people here are gossipy little sh*ts and ask endless questions about your personal life trying to get info, I hear “what does your husband do?”, even though it’s obvious I’m not married and I’m a single mother.

      • Sara says:

        that is a good observation, ncboudicca.
        it’ll change in the future i guess. most labour will be able to be done by machines and we’ll need to find new ways for people to feel worthy when tens of millions wont be needed in the job market anymore.

      • Amy says:

        If you say you’re a lapsed Catholic, will people always try to invite you to their church? Because that would drive me crazy. I never enjoyed church as a kid, I doubt I will have an epiphany and start liking it as an adult!

      • Ginger says:

        I just moved to the Mid West/South. And so far at least, no one has asked me about church. BUT I’ve had a lot of folks tell me what church they go to! :) Maybe they are fishing for information? I don’t know. At any rate, being a West coast girl born and raised it’s nice that people here will strike up a conversation with you anywhere. I lived in a very large city for the past 14 years where if you spoke to someone or said hello to a stranger, you got the side eye.

      • sigh((s)) says:

        Ginger- yes they’re fishing. You’re supposed to reply with, oh I go to x church, or I haven’t found a church family yet! At which point they’ll invite you to theirs.

        You’ll learn the lingo. It takes a while to pick up if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

    • Elle says:

      I think people frequently forget how many aspiring “actors” and “writers” in Hollywood are trust-fund kids playing at a career for fun. My brother went to film school in LA, and while we’re middle class, he had to take out loans and work his butt off to get a foot in the door. Meanwhile, several of his classmates either had trust funds or parents in the industry and for them, it was much more of a hobby. I read her comments as being of a similar vein.

  11. Amy Tennant says:

    “Into the Woods” is probably my favorite musical ever. I love everything Sondheim does. However, I have a feeling that no matter how wonderful Streep always is, I’m going to miss Bernadette Peters. She OWNED that role.

  12. aenflex says:

    Those poor, poor middle class folks. I’m crying.

  13. Delilah says:

    I think of 2 quotes on reading about Anna’s insecurities on looks:
    “Define yourself for yourself or be crunched up in other people’s fantasies and swallowed whole”
    “People cannot make you feel inferior without your consent”
    Personally, I think she’s a pretty girl but I don’t like the waif look on her – it’s unnatural. She looked her best in Twilight but in almost all her roles afterward she lost so much weight which had the opposite effect than desired – made her less attractive. She is a phenomenal actress and one as such that in my opinion had no need to lose weight. But I’m not Hollywood and I don’t sign her paychecks.

  14. Div says:

    I love Anna, but this is not her best look. Into the Woods looks so so…they should hold it and release it later than try to make it an Oscar film IMO.

  15. polyphonic pickles says:

    I disagree on the movie star thing, she just was working on a rom com called Mr Right opposite Sam Rockwell. This clearly isn’t a reflection of her, but that film crew and catering is by far the worst I have encountered in a long time. I just pray they don’t come back for reshoots.

  16. Ally8 says:

    She has one of the funniest Twitter accounts ( It makes me like her 100% more and then some. Behold:

    Anna Kendrick @AnnaKendrick47 · Nov 4
    I’m so humble it’s crazy. I’m like the Kanye West of humility.

    Anna Kendrick @AnnaKendrick47 · Sep 12
    Why do I buy cooking magazines in airports? I might as well be buying p–rn. I get all excited but there’s nothing I can do about it.

    Anna Kendrick @AnnaKendrick47 · Jul 25
    Is there a filter on Instagram that fixes Bitchy Resting Face? Asking for a friend.

    Anna Kendrick @AnnaKendrick47 · Apr 16
    “Yes, but maybe if I HAD these tiny whimsical bowls I WOULD throw dinner parties…” – every girl in Anthropologie ever